Metalcore – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Musical Genres Glossary

Metalcore is a popular subgenre of heavy metal music that combines elements of hardcore punk and metal. It is known for its aggressive sound, intense breakdowns, and melodic guitar riffs. Metalcore has gained a large following since its inception in the late 1990s and continues to be a prominent genre in the metal scene today.

What is Metalcore?

Metalcore is a fusion genre that combines the aggression and intensity of hardcore punk with the heaviness and technicality of metal. It typically features screamed vocals, heavy guitar riffs, and fast drumming. Metalcore bands often incorporate breakdowns, which are heavy, slow sections that create a sense of tension and release in the music. The genre is known for its energetic live performances and passionate fan base.

Origins of Metalcore

Metalcore emerged in the late 1990s as a response to the growing popularity of hardcore punk and metal. Bands like Converge, Earth Crisis, and Hatebreed were among the early pioneers of the genre, blending the raw aggression of hardcore with the technicality of metal. Over time, metalcore evolved to incorporate elements of other genres, such as melodic death metal and post-hardcore, leading to a diverse range of sounds within the genre.

Metalcore is characterized by its heavy guitar riffs, screamed vocals, and breakdowns. The genre often features complex song structures and intricate guitar solos, as well as melodic hooks and catchy choruses. Metalcore lyrics typically deal with themes of personal struggle, social issues, and emotional turmoil. The genre is known for its intense energy and emotional intensity, making it a favorite among fans of heavy music.

Influences on Metalcore

Metalcore draws influence from a variety of musical genres, including hardcore punk, metal, and post-hardcore. Bands like Converge, Earth Crisis, and Hatebreed were early influences on the genre, blending the aggression of hardcore with the technicality of metal. As metalcore evolved, bands began incorporating elements of melodic death metal, thrash metal, and even electronic music into their sound, leading to a diverse range of influences within the genre.

Subgenres of Metalcore

Metalcore has spawned a number of subgenres over the years, each with its own unique sound and style. Some of the most popular subgenres of metalcore include:

– Melodic Metalcore: characterized by melodic guitar riffs, clean vocals, and catchy choruses.
– Deathcore: a fusion of death metal and metalcore, featuring guttural vocals and brutal breakdowns.
– Mathcore: a technical and experimental form of metalcore, known for its complex time signatures and dissonant riffs.
– Electronicore: a blend of metalcore and electronic music, featuring synthesizers and programmed beats.

Each subgenre of metalcore has its own dedicated fan base and unique characteristics, contributing to the diversity of the genre as a whole.

Notable Metalcore Bands

There have been many influential metalcore bands throughout the history of the genre. Some of the most notable metalcore bands include:

– Killswitch Engage: known for their melodic guitar riffs and powerful vocals, Killswitch Engage helped popularize metalcore in the early 2000s.
– As I Lay Dying: a pioneering band in the metalcore scene, As I Lay Dying is known for their intense live performances and technical musicianship.
– August Burns Red: with their intricate guitar work and complex song structures, August Burns Red has become one of the leading bands in the metalcore genre.
– Parkway Drive: hailing from Australia, Parkway Drive is known for their aggressive sound and energetic live shows, making them a favorite among metalcore fans worldwide.

These bands, along with many others, have helped shape the sound and style of metalcore over the years, contributing to its continued popularity and influence in the metal scene.